DirectBuy and Dozier Internet Law SLAPPs InfomercialScams.com

Props to Public Citizen for publicizing DirectBuy‘s, and their thuggish lawyer‘s, cease-and desist legal intimidation (a hat-tip goes out to Slashdot).

The full text of the cease and desist letter, by Dozier Internet Law, P.C., is below. (I Hate Linux has also excerpted the text.)

Please be advised that our firm has been retained by DirectBuy, Inc. to investigate and take legal action against you for the series of unwarranted and defamatory attacks against it made by you and your visitors on your various websites. Specifically, these websites are www.infomercialblog.com, www.infomercialratings.com, and www.infomercialscams.com.

DirectBuy, Inc., has been in business for over 35 years and has provided consumers with the opportunity to save on products for their homes through its members only program. Our client provides its members with access to thousands of products and provides a high level of customer service. DirectBuy has established a well founded reputation for the quality of its services and customer satisfaction and your unwarranted actions and baselsss accusations have damaged that reputation and adversely affected our client’s business.

Your have personally posted many willfully false and misleading comments about our client. Examples of your defamatory statements include:

    “Direct Buy Nightmare” — www.informercialscams.com;

  • “all scams are posted uncensored!” — www.informercialscams.com
  • You are reporting the following SCAM” — www.informercialscams.com; and
  • “Recently, we noticed a sudden influx of 4 and 5 star ratings for the Direct Buy program… We don’t know if Direct Buy is behind this or not. But we do have our suspicions given the fact that the reviews came from the SAME LOCATION, say the same thing, and highlightpoints that most cusomters wouldn’t be concerned with.” — www.infomercialblog.com

The above statements made in reference to DirectBuy, Inc are utterly false and without merit, and they are defamatory per se in that they depict our client as engaging in fradulent activity that violates civil and criminal law.

Additionally, you actively encourage and solicit defamatory statements from customers on your www.infomercialratings.com and www.infomercialscams.com websites. According to a recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, LLC, 389 F. 3rd 921 (9th Cir. 2007)] you likely have serious financial exposure to DirectBuy.com for each and every one of the defamatory statements made by your visitors. Furthermore, your actions have also resulted in damages to our client and its franchisees in Canada, subjecting you to claims in that country as well.

Your attempts to spread libelous and defamatory material about our client have caused serious and irreparable injury to it, its reputation, and its business. Our client will not stand by and allow this misconduct to continue.

We hereby demand that you:

  1. Immediately remove from all of your websites all defamatory and disparaging remarks regarding our client made by you and your visitors, and
  2. Immediately cease and desist in publishing defamatory statements about our client, whether the statements are made by you or third parties, and
  3. Compensate our client for its attorney fees and costs

Please not that this law firm does not attempt to restrict legitimate free speech, and we believe that the Internet is an important medium for dissemination of accurate and truthful [emphasis Dozier’s — tdaxp] information and for fair comment on issues of interest. Your activities, however, unlawfully encroach upon our client’s rights.

This letter puts you on notice that should you refuse to comply with our demands by September 28, 2007, we will have no choice but to recommend that our client pursue all legal causes of action, including the filling of a lawsuit, to protect its interests. We will pursue both damages and attorneys’ fees and costs incurreed by our client as a result of your actions.

This is a very serious matter that requires your immediate attention. We therefore strongly recommend that you contact us immediately to address and resolve this situation. This letter is your one and only chance to resolve this matter amicably.

Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any matter. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action. [emphasis mine — tdaxp]

Online: INFOMERCIAL SCAMS.COM – DIRECT BUY COMPLAINTS
Online: INFOMERCIAL RATINGS.COM – DIRECT BUY REVIEW
Online: INFOMERCIAL BLOG.COM >> Former Direct Buy Employee Reveals Truth About Company
Online (pdf): “How not to write a cease and desist letter.”
Online (pdf): “Re: Notice to Cease and Desist Internet Defamation

Additionally, a mixed-review of DirectBuy is available from ChrisWondra.com, while the theoretical implications are discussed over at Dreaming 5GW.

One thought on “DirectBuy and Dozier Internet Law SLAPPs InfomercialScams.com”

  1. Copyrighting a letter in this way is interesting.

    Apart from the fact that copyrighting anything on the internet is practically difficult, and the mere saying 'this is copyright” is pure temptation for everyone to copy it, it totally ignores the purpose of 'copyright'.

    Copyright is there to protect the owner of works / articles, or in particular, the monetary value of those works. For example, I write an essay which is copyright to stop you from making a million bucks – you copy it, then I can sue you for the money I would have made had you not made it instead!

    Even then, copyright allows you to publish extracts from my essay sufficiently enough to properly discuss and debate it.

    Furthermore, when a letter is sent, it belongs to the addressee once posted. The postal company carry it on behalf of the addressee (if you don't believe me, try getting a letter back after posting), so therefore, one would argue, that if anything, the contents of the letter belong to the addressee so they can not be copyright to the sender.

    To me, it would have made more sense to put 'Private & Confidential' on the letter, opening up grounds of 'breach of trust or confidentiality' & such like, but not 'copyright'!

    On the subject of slagging companies off, justifiably or not, whatever happened to ***opinions*** let alone free speech???

    But then, I'm not a Lawyer.

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